BAKU: Russia Pushes Armenia Into Military Conflict in Karabakh


Sarq, Baku
30 Mar 04

Reportedly, Armenia has declared military mobilization at a time of
mounting domestic tension.

Ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s supporters and the radical
opposition have joined their efforts to carry out a “velvet
revolution” in Armenia. The USA and UK are said to be interested in
such changes. This is possible, experts say, but depends on whether
the USA and Europe manage to weaken Russia’s grip on internal
processes in Armenia. The president of the Caspian Research Foundation
and political analyst (and former presidential aide), Vafa Quluzada,
said that the course of events will eventually determine that. As a
result of domestic processes, Armenia will try to amend its
pro-Russian policy. For Armenia’s pro-Russian policy to change, first
of all the Armenian leadership needs to be replaced.

“For as long as (Armenian President Robert) Kocharyan stays in office,
Armenia will remain Russia’s slave,” Quluzada said. However, some
forces are interested in the “velvet revolution” in Armenia. “Should
the revolution take place and democrats come to power, the Nagornyy
Karabakh conflict will be resolved automatically. Because the
Armenians need neither Karabakh, nor our occupied districts. They have
told me in private conversations that Russia is behind the conflict
and is exploiting it.”

The idea of “Greater Armenia” has lost its significance, Quluzada
said. “The entire world knows that Armenia is an aggressor, and
attitudes to an aggressor are well-known. The Armenians themselves
realize that.” This is an ideology created during the (Russian) tsar
empire. The times have changed and those ideas no longer work, he

Reports about Armenia’s military mobilization are purposefully being
disseminated by the Russian reactionary forces. “Russia wants to
create there a false militaristic atmosphere. Undoubtedly, Russia
would love to see Armenia attack Azerbaijan and the war to resume as a
result. But the Armenians will not do that. Armenia has weakened too
much and the Armenian army is in a state of anarchy. If the Armenians
give them a pretext (for a war in Karabakh), the Russians will wage it
themselves. However, the Armenians do not want a war.”

As to foreign participation and interest in Armenia’s “velvet
revolution”, Quluzada said: “Certainly, both the USA and the UK want
to see democratic forces come to power in Armenia. Russia opposes
that, and the subsequent course of events will show the true
capabilities of the West.”

(Passage omitted: “Velvet revolutions” in Ukraine and Belarus)